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Illusions Fantasmagoriques


Published 1898


A stage magician produces a dove from his sleeve, kisses it and puts it in a large wooden box that is mounted on a small table. He then throws in various items of clothing and makes a symbolic gesture. A small child emerges from the box, and the magician carries him out, placing him on a small plinth. He then produces a large axe and cuts the boy down the middle, producing two identical children.

They begin to fight each other, and the magician picks one up and turns him upside down. The boy is transformed into a piece of paper, which the magician rips up. He puts the other boy back in the box, whose walls he then systematically removes with a hammer, revealing nothing inside. He pats one of the now-separated sides of the box as it lies on the floor, and the boy reappears on top of it. The magician picks him up, and the boy turns into a couple of large flags, which the magician waves at the audience. Finally, he climbs onto the table, sits cross-legged and vanishes in a puff of smoke. He re-emerges from the side of the stage to take a bow.

Country: France
Release Date: 1898 (France)
Release Date: 1903 (USA)
Also Known As: La boîte mystérieuse


Producer Georges Méliès
Production Company Star Film Company
Sponsor Gen X
Audio/Visual silent, black and white


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